Street art has undergone some interesting developments of late. While not entirely forsaking its aerosol heritage, street art has definitely become more adventuresome in terms of medium in the past few years. Artist MRtoll exemplifies this well. While MRtoll’s aesthetic may resemble that of a stencil or poster artist, his medium is a bit more peculiar: clay. MRtoll works the clay into various images or texts then installs them on walls throughout Brooklyn. He often uses his clay in a nearly painterly manner creating impressive two dimensional work. Other times, his work is text based, seemingly a text or a tweet, playful much like its medium.
Wolfgang Stiller‘s series Matchstickmen are a depiction of people that are literally burnt out. The sculptures resemble giant match sticks, the the charred match head like a human head, ignited and tossed about the gallery. A play on the phrase ‘burnt out’, the series comments on the unending demand of human labor. Interestingly the installation was created while the German artist was living in China. However, Stiller says of the work:
“I don’t want to see it only as a critique on the Chinese system. Any other system in the world has the same problem. Big companies exploit their employees to make larger profits, all over the world. As long as we have affordable T-shirts or sneakers, we don’t really want to know whether they are made by children in India or not.” [via]
Artist Alex Garant paints dizzying works of women that have multiple eyes and are seen in double vision. The traditionally-styled oil paintings are a unique take on the standard portrait, as they combine optical-illusions, realistic renderings, and repeat patterns. This offers a graphic element to her compositions where the background and foregrounds fuse to flatten the entire thing.
Garant finds inspiration in early ink printing, vintage pop surrealism, baroque tapestries, and retro kitsch. So, it’s no surprise that we see these patterns edging on and covering the faces of these subjects.
According to the artist’s website, she uses “patterns, duplication of elements, symmetry and image superposition as a way to engage the viewer into her imagery.” The standard, front-facing portraits are made unique with offset facial features and a clash of visual cultures throughout time. (Via L’ACTE GRATUIT)
Bohyun Yoon has lived in Japan, Korea, and The States. He uses these “diverse social experiences” as a point of reference for his work, which circles around societal restraints and progressive concepts of the body: possible extensions and perils with the advancement of technology/war/culture on a personal and holistic level.
His installation work “Unity” (2009), “Structure of Shadow” (2007), and “Shadow” (2004) casts light on miniature wax body parts which physically dangle aimlessly; however, when illuminated by a light source, these fragmentations create shadows or illusions which illustrate figurative wholeness.
Tethered to our bodies and systems of government, our parts and puppetry, is in essence, our humanness or machinery, or as Yoon explains, what makes us “weak and fragile, spiritless animals under certain rule, certain harsh conditions.” His work also resonates with a sense of devastation felt by veterans returning wounded from battle, physically and spiritually.
Ilona Szwarc is a photographer originally from Poland who now lives in the United States and has rightfully fascinated with American Culture. American Girls, named after the doll series, is a study of said culture that investigates gender,beauty, and identity in the context of decks with cadillac barbecues, country mansions, and skyscraper porches. The style of her photographs is, like the our culture encourages us to be, perfect, too–styling the girls exactly and directing them to look as expressionless as the dolls they cherish. But the images aren’t condescending, exploitative, or preachy–they just express a genuine interest in the hyperbole that is American gender culture. Still in the SVA already with a body of Diane Arbus quality work, keep your eye out for great things to come from this girl. (via)
Jacques de Beaufort’s surreal wizardry takes you across the universe and into alternative worlds.
C E R A S O L I Gallery presents a selection of works by three artists working with collage as their medium, MATT PHILLIPS ‘Out Through The In Door’ in Gallery One, MARIO WAGNER ‘Some Are Here And Some Are Missing’ in Gallery Two, and SETH CURCIO ‘Beyond A Shadow’ in Gallery Three at Cerasoli.
Utilizing a multi-faceted approach to painting, Matt Phillips’ large-scale, oil and collage on canvas artworks reference op-art, pattern painting, mosaics and textiles. Phillips approaches his multilayered, dynamically textured, collage paintings as both object and illusion. Prismatic, lively and rhythmic, accessible cube-grids and diamond quilt-piece patterns are viewed through transparent cracks, sketchy loops and crooked squares. The artist’s intentional interruption of patterned space fractures his already frenetic compositions into kaleidoscopic abstractions. Plays on shape, color and movement result in paintings that are both formal and lyrical, quirky yet familiar. Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Phillips received his degree in visual art and art history from Hampshire College, where he has taught as a visiting professor.
In Mario Wagner’s collage on canvas works, high contrast images of 1960s cool are layered onto large-scale vintage settings, tinted in lurid colors and populated by men in three piece suits and girls with shiny hair, clustered hands and disembodied eyes. Wagner draws from familiar Modernist techniques such as Dadaist collage and photomontage to create his paper collage and acrylic on canvas works. Created using ‘analog’ processes with scissor, glue and acrylic, Wagner’s surreal scenes of intrigue and glamour exude an underlying false sense of nostalgia for a bygone era of an overindulged society. Wagner, a German-born artist and illustrator, has been shown in numerous international exhibitions and his illustrations and artworks have been commissioned by Esquire, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times Magazine.
Seth Curcio implements Xerox and laser copiers, billboard pasting, enamel paints, and screen prints — what he describes as “the accessible materials of mass commerce” — in the construction of his mid-sized collages on paper and wood. At first glance, Curcio’s pictures resemble familiar contemporary landscapes. But, on further inspection, a perplexing multiplicity imbues Curcio’s images with hallucinogenic static. Kaleidoscopic explosions splinter a high-rise building into a shadowy house of cards. At other times, patterns multiply like mushrooms within celestial landscapes that mirror both the surface of the moon and the interior of the Large Hadron Collider. Disquieting and complex, Curcio’s works resemble photo-real environments shredded and then pieced together from memory, an intricate mesh which captures the claustrophobic, endlessly reconstructed nature of our contemporary culture. Curcio worked as director of Redux Contemporary Art Center and is the founder of the art blog Dailyserving.com.
Opens June 13, 2009, 6-9pm
Remains on view through July 8, 2009
8530-B Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
The Paris-based sculptor Elisabeth Daynès listens to bones, to the remains of our evolutionary ancestors that have lived up to three million years ago. Throughout her prolific 20 year career, the “paleoartist” has worked from the skulls of wooly mammoths to species of hominid to create vividly detailed figures. Based on 18 data points that mark the bone, she can use a computer to model facial features that she later shapes out of clay. She refers to research and other bone samples to determine the build of her subjects, and ultimately she creates a silicone cast, complete with delicate painted features: veins, goosebumps, blemishes.
In a final step towards humanizing her sculptures, Daynès includes prosthetic eyes, teeth, and hair, each of which is as historically and scientifically accurate as possible. Current research suggests that Neanderthals, for example, had red hair; for her uncanny hominids, that range from Homo sapien to Homo erectus, she uses a blend of human hair. In her mind’s eye, the artist draws an informed portrait of each subject she reanimates; from the bones, she can determine period, sex and age, along with finer details like culture, climate, diet, and health.
For Daynès, this process is as much an art as it is a science. Ultimately, she hopes to reconnect with our past, embarking on a forensic search of what makes us human. Dismayed by the ways in which early human ancestors are reviled as unintelligent brutes, she injects her creations with a powerful dose of humanity; their brows furrow with concentration, and their eyes are painfully gentle. She explains “missing” them when they leave her studio for a permanent home in a museum. Take a look. (via Daily Mail and Lost at E Minor)